Extending the Life of Your Microwave

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Wanna screw over big business? Keep your microwave running for years and years. The fact is that microwave technology has changed very little since they were first introduced and that most models that are sold today are no more effective than those sold twenty years ago. You can do your part to make the top level executives at companies that make and sell microwave ovens hurt just a teeny little bit—they will never hurt as much as the rest of us—by cutting back on company profits. One day to do this is to resist their effort to bend your will against making needless purchases. One of the most needless purchases you can make is a microwave oven since with just the slightest bit of care they can last for well over a decade. And, frankly, the microwaves hitting the market a decade from now will be improved only on cosmetic terms.

Provide Adequate Ventilation

To keep your microwave oven working at peak efficiency you need to make sure it receives adequate ventilation. The negative effects of a poorly ventilated microwave oven includes a buildup of condensation in the chamber itself and that can not only lead to poor cooking, but shorten the life of the appliance. A tube that is vital for the efficient operation of a microwave needs to remain at low temperatures and this necessity can be compromised by the effects of improper ventilation. Try to avoid putting the microwave into an enclosed area that doesn’t allow for some breathing space around all sides of the oven and make sure that each of the vents are free from obstructed flow of air.

Be Aware of Container Temperatures

You may tend to think that your microwave oven is nearing the end of its life or is not working up to expected quality because it seems to cook unevenly. The problem may not be the oven, but the container. If you notice that sometimes the microwave takes long to cook heat up food than other time, be aware of the temperature of the container in which the food is placed. Heating up food on a cold plate that has come straight from the refrigerator is going to take longer than if you put the same refrigerated food onto a plate at room temperature. The life of your microwave oven may not be coming to an end just because it seems to be inconsistent in the efficiency with which it heats food.

Keep It Clean

You can extend the life of your microwave oven as well as make the food cooked inside taste better by taking the time to wipe down the interior of the oven after each use. The more food particles build up inside the microwave, the more that flavor of those food particles will color what is currently being cooked. If you start to think that it’s time to trade in your microwave because it is affecting flavor, you may be wasting money. A good wiping down with a moist rag to remove particles will keep that old food from tainting new food. Pay special attention to food that has spilled over the lip of a bowl or edge of a plate. Sometimes this spillage works it down to the area next the microwave door. Over time, this food can build up to cause a negative effect on how well the door seals when closed. The effect won’t be enough to keep the microwave from turning on, but it can be enough to impact cooking times, making the microwave need to work longer to accomplish what it used to do in a shorter amount time, thus creating the suspicion that it has become too old to be dependable. Another reason to keep your microwave oven clean is that the more excess food particles are left over inside the oven, the less efficiently it heats up what you are trying to cook. The microwaves inside an oven are not very good at detecting the difference between old food and new food and thus will direct as much energy to zapping a month-old piece of food grown crusty beneath the spinning platter as it will the food in the bowl placed on top of that platter.

If You Must Buy

If you find that you absolutely must invest in a new microwave, you can still manage to do your part to cut back on the performance bonus for rich CEOs by scaling back on your next microwave purchase. You could potentially save significant amounts of money by resisting the urge to buy a new microwave with fancy built-in temperature settings. If you are like most people, you only use a microwave for heating and not for cooking entire meals. Get yourself a microwave that is big enough to reheat the foods you plan and skip those that let you do one touch roasting of entire chickens. Who the heck microwaves a whole chicken, anyway?